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The Fascinating Story Behind “Albino” Magic Mushroom Strains
What are albino strains? Among the thousands of mushroom species, these fungi stand out from the rest because of their color.
The origin of these fungi is unclear, but they’re a fascination among mycologists and mushroom lovers alike. Explore all there is to know about albino mushrooms below.
What Is an Albino Strain?
Magic mushrooms that fall into the classification of albino lack pigmentation in the fruiting body. These fungi have a pale appearance similar to a faded shade of white. The reason behind these strains boils down to genetics.
These varieties are unique, and mycologists refer to some of them as Psilocybe cubensis Albino A+. While the origins of the fungi are unconfirmed, many suspect they occurred as the result of a mutation.
Genetics of Albino Strains
Which strains are responsible for the evolution of albino varieties? Research is inconclusive, but there’s consensus among experts that they derive from the Psilocybe cubensis strain.
The assumption is that the mutation happened naturally. In some cultures, there’s a belief that albino fungi have spiritual and mystical properties.
These mushrooms are quite rare, as they have a genetic mutation of a recessive gene from both parents. The unique qualities these fungi display make them popular in artworks and photography.
Certain characteristics are unique to these fungi, setting them apart. Let’s take a closer look at some of these features.
Characteristics of Albino Strains
How can an individual identify an albino strain?
The most telltale sign is the appearance of the mushroom. They don’t have the colors that other varieties have. This lack of pigmentation occurs because the fungal mutation impacts the gene responsible for producing melanin.
These varieties have a recessive gene, which both parents need to have to pass it on. It’s this aspect of albino mushrooms that makes them rare.
Some studies suggest these fungi contain a higher concentration of the psychoactive component psilocybin. Proving or negating this is challenging due to the legislation surrounding magic mushrooms and their related compounds.
The mutation also appears to give the fungi inconsistent development patterns. Some grow large with thick sturdy stems, while others are compact and seem more flimsy.
Let’s discuss the various parts of a mushroom and what a typical albino specimen looks like.
A cap refers to the umbrella-shaped top part of a mushroom. It plays several important roles, including protecting the gills and spores from damage and dehydration. Albino varieties are usually broad and convex.
The diameter range is usually less than three inches, depending on the size of the specific mushroom. The texture of these fungi is smooth and dry on the surface, and the pigment is whitish-yellow.
In certain cases, the color darkens over time, and the margin of the cap may curve inward. Sometimes, a translucent veil develops but breaks as the mushroom grows.
Gills develop on the underside of the cap. They appear thin and resemble small blades, often varying in color. This is where the spores are produced and released.
The gills of an albino magic mushroom are spaced closely and attached directly to the stem. They’re typically pale white or yellow and may develop slightly darker patches as the mushroom ages. When mature, they may turn a dark purple-brown color as they release spores.
This part of the mushroom is also referred to as the stipe and serves multiple purposes. It connects the fungus to the soil and provides nutrients while also supporting the cap. It’s an essential component for the balance of the fruiting body structure.
A common feature of the albino strain is that the stem is slim and long. The height ranges from 1–6 inches and the diameter averages 2–4 mm.
As the mushroom matures, and the weight of the cap increases, the stem may curve under the pressure. The inside is typically hollow.
The lack of pigmentation is also evident in this part of the mushroom. It has the same white or yellow hue as the cap.
When the mushroom is in its early development stages, a thin veil forms. It’s thin and resembles a translucent membrane. It mainly covers the gills when the fungus is still young. As it grows, the veil breaks. Remnants of it remain on the stem and cap. In some instances, it forms a ring of tissue around the former.
This component protects the spores and prevents them from early release. In certain instances, the veil plays a vital role for mycologists in identifying specific species.
A spore print refers to a collection of spores from the gills of a mushroom. It helps mycologists and taxonomy experts identify species using color and pattern.
Spores differ in size and shape. Researchers who aim to understand fungi regard it as an important element for studying mushrooms.
With the albino variety, their print contrasts with their pale aesthetics. Research shows that the spore print of these fungi is dark. The hue is a blend of purple and brown.
Albino Strains Summed Up
Mushrooms are fascinating, and with so many species available, the topic continues to remain intriguing.
Thanks to a natural occurrence of gene mutation, these albino fungi have a lack of pigmentation. Every part, from the stipe to the cap, displays a pale yellow. The only contrast to the dull, light color of the rest of the mushroom is the dark-hued spores.
To learn more intriguing facts about mushrooms, browse our Fungushead blog.
All of the content and images on our site are for informational reference only. The cultivation of psilocybin mushrooms is federally illegal in the United States. We do not promote the cultivation of psilocybin “magic” mushrooms under any circumstances. Do not contact us asking for advice related to this subject. Any products found on this site are for microscopy and taxonomy purposes only. None of the psilocybin mushroom spores we offer are for consumption or cultivation. We do not sell any products containing psilocybin.